Effervescent tablets are an interesting pharmaceutical dosage form which offers some unique advantages when compared with simple tablets. They are designed to break in contact with liquid such as water or juice, often causing the tablet to dissolve into a solution.
Effervescent products can be formulated to deliver a wide variety of functional materials. However, every effervescent formula is built on simple chemistry. When an acid and a carbonate salt are placed in water, they react to release carbon dioxide gas. That’s the fizz of an effervescent product.
Effervescent products are, by design, chemically reactive. While the chemistry itself is straightforward, its application is tricky. Ensuring product performance and stability requires careful consideration of each ingredient such as moisture, particle size, and solubility. the finished product specifications need to be designed to ensure that the product will deliver the claimed benefits throughout its intended shelf life with special attention to be paid to packaging during the development process. To prevent the effervescent reaction from starting before product usage, it’s vital to provide protection from environmental humidity. Moisture-proof foil sachets and stick packs are commonly used for single-dose packages. Plastic tubes with desiccant stoppers can be used for multiple doses.
The fizzy reaction intrigues consumers of all ages and makes everyday products just a little more entertaining. Sensory cues such as fragrance release, color change, and bubbly mouthfeel add to the consumer’s experience.
Several product types employ the effervescent tablet dosage form.
Drugs – Effervescent tablets and powders have been used as delivery vehicles for analgesic, antacid, and cough/cold/flu products for many years. Consumers appreciate the rapid relief they provide, and people who have trouble swallowing tablets and capsules find the pre-dissolved product form invaluable
Dietary supplements – Effervescent products that deliver vitamins have long been popular in developed parts of the world. In recent years, numerous new products have been introduced featuring vitamins, minerals, amino acids, botanicals, and other specialty nutrients in effervescent form.
The benefits of effervescent products –
Effervescent products offer a range of benefits that appeal to consumers in all demographics and are easily marketed.
- Rapid delivery & action – Effervescent products are dissolved prior to ingestion, speeding gut absorption of active ingredients. This rapid absorption shortens the product’s onset, which is a particularly attractive feature for pharmaceutical and dietary supplement products.
- Uniformity of solution – Effervescent tablets and powders disperse rapidly and evenly in water, eliminating the settling and clumping often associated with non-effervescent products.
- Stable environment – The anhydrous base of effervescent products provides an optimal environment for moisture-sensitive active ingredients, essentially eliminating the risk of hydrolysis, a common cause of degradation.
- Convenience – Effervescent products also appeal to consumers because of their compact size and simplicity of use. Additionally, effervescent tablets and powders are almost always packaged as an individual dose, eliminating the need to measure.
- Well tolerated – Effervescent products offer a great alternative for consumers that dislike or are unable to swallow tablets or capsules, potentially aiding in patient compliance.
Manufacturing of effervescent products also requires specialized knowledge and equipment and is neither simple nor straightforward.
The market for effervescent products continues to grow at a rapid pace as new products enter the market. These products span a wide range of categories and capitalize on the benefits of effervescent technology to delivery tried and true as well as novel applications. Consumers continue to embrace these products, indicating a consistent willingness to pay for the unique benefits and enhanced user experience inherent in this technology.
- Rau, Allen H. “Effervescent technology for today’s pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements.” Tablets & Capsules Magazine, 14(5), 11–15.
- https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/fullarticle/649710#:~:text=Swallowing%20oral%20medications%20in%20the, community%20experience%20 problems%20swallowing%20pills
- Drug Delivery Systems, 2019.